by: Madelyn Glymour, Contributor
TRACKING BOARD TOP 5 WEEKEND PREDICTIONS
|# 1||GONE GIRL||$23 million|
|# 2||DRACULA UNTOLD||$21.5 million|
|# 3||ANNABELLE||$19 million|
|# 4||ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY||$16 million|
|# 5||THE JUDGE||$14 million|
Well, this week is a mess. Not for the studios — it promises to be a decent weekend, in terms of total gross — but for the poor suckers trying to predict the top five. There are four new movies coming out this weekend: Addicted; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Dracula Untold; and The Judge. Of those, all but Addicted are tracking moderately well, with Dracula slipping into a category that some might call “very well.” Projections have been all over the place, with ranges as wide as $15 million between different analysts’ predictions. On top of that, we’re coming off one of the best opening October weekends in years, with Gone Girl and Annabelle still doing very well in terms of total gross, and still very close together. Adding to the confusion are 13 specialty releases, including the high-profile St. Vincent (starring Bill Murray), Kill the Messenger (starring Jeremy Renner), and Whiplash (starring J.K. Simmons).
At some point, though, you just have to grit your teeth and make a decision. My most confident prediction this week is that Gone Girl will take the #1 spot. It barely edged out Annabelle for the win last week, but the gap between the two has grown over the week, and while the buzz has grown for Gone Girl — seriously, try to go 10 minutes on the internet without seeing a thinkpiece about it, I dare you — it’s largely flatlined for Annabelle. Gone Girl also has an older, more patient audience, who are more likely to have waited to see it. And unlike Annabelle, it lends itself to rewatching. I’m predicting that it keeps its drop to under 40 percent, giving it a $23 million gross in its second weekend.
I suspect Annabelle, on the other hand, will see a sharper decline, considering the negative reviews it’s gotten and the competition it will have for teen audiences from Dracula Untold. But it’s also the only horror option available for another two weeks, and it’s October, so I doubt it’ll drop that much. A 50 percent drop would put it in the $19 million range, which seems about right.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Facebook Likes||Tweets|
|GONE GIRL||$37.513 million||$48.2 million||190,713||260,939*|
|ANNABELLE||$37.134 million||$43.922 million||2,056,967||922,321*|
The four new releases are a lot harder to pin down. Dracula Untold and Alexander both seem like they’ll easily make enough to break the top five. In particular, as I mentioned, Dracula has the best tracking numbers of the lot, and Alexander‘s only competition in the family-friendly market is The Boxtrolls, which is now in its third week. Dracula also has the best Facebook numbers of the new releases by a factor of ten. But neither movie has been well reviewed, and Dracula is exactly the kind of movie (male-skewing, action heavy) that tracking numbers have been misleading about in the past few months.
The Judge and Addicted present another problem. Again, neither has gotten great reviews, but Addicted, at least, is the kind of movie where bad reviews won’t much matter. It has a small but committed fan base who can occasionally turn up unexpectedly high numbers. Its tracking numbers are by far the lowest of the four new releases, but those numbers can be misleading in cases like this. The Judge, meanwhile, is the kind of movie where bad reviews absolutely do matter. But it’s been tracking second only to Dracula (and not second by that much), and it has the undeniable draw of Robert Downey Jr.
In the absence of other solid evidence, I’m going with the tracking for Dracula, and giving it second place, with a predicted haul of $21 million. That puts it just above Annabelle, which I’m predicting for third. Alexander seems to be a safe bet for at least $16 million, which I doubt either The Judge or Addicted can best, so it gets fourth. That leaves The Judge in fifth, because I can’t imagine it getting much less than $14 million, and I can’t imagine Addicted getting much more than $10 million.
The obvious weak spots in this week’s predictions are Dracula and The Judge. I can see the former either going much higher and taking the weekend, or falling victim to the summer’s misleading tracking numbers and falling to third or fourth. I can’t see The Judge going any lower than my prediction, but the Robert Downey Jr. Effect could be strong enough to push it several million higher. Either way, if there’s a shake-up this weekend — and it seems very much like there might be — I’m guessing one of these two movies will be behind it.
|Critics||Users||# of Ratings||Stars||# of Ratings|
(Sources: boxoffice.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Starred figures are estimated. Tweets represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)